THE car park made famous by cult gangster film Get Carter is being consigned to cinematic history.

Gateshead Borough Council's planning committee yesterday voted to accept outline proposals to knock down the dilapidated building and regenerate the town centre.

Despite being an icon with fans of the 1971 movie, the huge multi-storey was deeply unpopular with local people, who branded it an eyesore.

Nigel Goodall, director of Gateshead Town Centre Regeneration Company, the firm celebrating after yesterday's recommendation of approval, said: "We all enjoyed seeing Get Carter, in fact, I've seen it a few times, but the car park is a 25-year-old film set and Gateshead has got to have a future.

"A public survey we carried out showed that the car park had had its day, and that they were keen for a new shopping and leisure development in the town centre."

The multi-million pound development will include a two-level shopping centre and leisure facilities built round a major food store.

Chris Riley, of the Get Carter Appreciation Society, accepted that the town had to move on, but suggested a way of celebrating its cinematic history.

He said yesterday: "I would like to see the local authority build a model of the car park and keep it on display somewhere."

l Meanwhile, the new headquarters of the National Insurance Contributions Office was opened yesterday, marking the end of the first phase of a colossal makeover at Europe's biggest office complex.

Work at the Longbenton site, in Newcastle, is likely to last another 30 years and cost £163m